travel

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Taken around this time last year, I remember exactly when I captured it. This was taken after the first day we had come back from San Diego. While we were gone, the Washington DC area had gone through this insane cold snap. I remember getting texts from my friends all saying that they were going to come to San Diego because it was like 15 degrees below freezing or something crazy like that. While we were in San Diego, it was colder than usual but nothing like it was on the east coast. It was so cold that the Reflecting Pool had frozen over. It was so frozen that I saw people walking across it! I must admit I was a little jealous of the opportunity but was even more grateful to be in southern California. So feeling the fomo, I went down to the reflecting pool as soon as I could. I was glad to see that it was still frozen over because it made for a cool photo opportunity but the cracks in the ice did not give me the confidence to actually walk on it.

In order to capture this image, my camera was practically on the ice so I could get as much of it in the frame as possible. I remember really wanting to concentrate on those little ice chunks on top of the ice. It was so interesting to me.

So I thought this was a pretty cool throwback considering it was such a memorable event at our return from San Diego. As you’re reading this now, we have safely landed back home from another amazing trip to SoCal. Can’t wait to share more about it soon 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1.3 sec and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens handheld.

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Even in the middle of January, I’m already starting to get questions about cherry blossoms season in spring. Actually, I started receiving them in December! Props to all of you early planners out there who want to make sure they capture my favorite time in Washington DC. Seriously, cherry blossom season is the best time to be in the Capital. I don’t blame you.

Even with all my experience shooting the blossoms, it’s still very difficult to predict when they’ll actually bloom. I usually say beginning of April will be your best bet, but I’ve seen them as early as late March and as late as mid April. They don’t last too long either. From what I’ve seen a week to a week and a half tops. I remember one year we may have only had 3 good days with the flowers before they all fell off due to rain we got. They’re fragile flowers so don’t be disappointed if you planned so much to see them and you don’t. They honestly really hard to plan for.

But for those of you wondering, I created this guide. Hope this helps. I try my best to update it every year and plan on doing so this year when we’re closer to the dates. I like to update it with what NPS has forecasted as peak bloom, new changes and developments, etc.

I have also dedicated a whole chapter in Snap DC about photographing the cherry blossoms. You can never have too much cherry blossom info, am I right? So if those two resources don’t help, let me know and I’ll try my best to answer any questions you may have.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/25th sec at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. 

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When people think about Washington DC, one of the first things that come to mind is the White House. But for some reason, it’s never a real go to spot for me to go capture images. There are several reasons for this regardless of who’s residing in the house.

  1. The White House is located in a spot where it’s not great at either sunrise or sunset. The only way to get a really nice sky in the background is if you are lucky with one of those days where the color takes over the whole sky. Those days are so hard to predict that it’s just easier to be closer to one of the monuments as opposed to the White House.
  2. The security around the White House keeps getting increasingly stricter. Since I first started out in photography, you could actually get pretty close to the gate and no one would say anything. Now, you have to be a least across the street. With all the tourists all cramped up in one little sidewalk, it’s so difficult to get a great shot.
  3. If you are want to take your White House shot, try to bring the biggest zoom you can. It will be the only way you can get a close up shot without a lot of people in your image. This image was taken with my 70-200mm at 93mm.

This image also happens to be an image I took just for my book, Snap DC and had never been published before. I definietly remember the day I took this because I remember I parked my car, walked all the way to the White House, and then realized I left my camera in the car. OMG how does that even happen? I swear, only me.

So if you’re interested in more Washington DC photo tips like this, check out Snap DC on Amazon. Just remember to bring your camera with you 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/200th sec and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm ultra zoom.

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Andrew, Frankie, our cousins and I have officially made it to San Diego and were loving it. It’s so nice to be able to spend some winter days on the west coast. Before this we were in Joshua Tree National Park and it was so nice but our trip was way too short. But I’m glad we even got to go at all. It has always been one of those places that I try my best to visit, but every time the opportunity came up, there was so reason why we couldn’t go. So I’m glad we finally made it.

This image was taken last year around this time in La Jolla. I seriously could spend all day photographing and watching these Sea Lions. It’s one of my favorite things about visiting San Diego. It’s just so peaceful and a sight you would never see in Washington. This little guy was definietly hamming it up for the camera.

I’ve heard seeing the sea lions can really be a hit or miss. I’m lucky (knock on wood) that I’ve never not seen them. This image was taken at the La Jolla Cove. Every time I’ve seen them, they have been there or at Children’s Pool just in case you are planning your own visit.

I remember taking this image and purposely tried to shoot at a low perspective. I really wanted to at least get this little guy’s face in the reflection. You can see I got maybe a little bit of his mouth and that’s it. LOL. It’s ok though, I’m sure there will be plenty more opportunities on this trip to try to capture what I have envisioned.

My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1/200th sec and ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm zoom lens.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

2019! WOW. Not to total ignore 2019 but everytime I think 2019, I can’t help but think 2020 is just around the corner and that is just bananas to me. Like can you imagine people saying that they were born in 2020? The number is just crazy to me. P.S. Where are the flying cars at?

Anyways…

Much like my top travel images of 2018, I like to reminisce and look back on my favorite images from Washington DC from the past year. It makes me feel so fortunate to live in the Nation’s Capital. I love being able to hop in my car and within minutes be among some of the most recognizable and loved landmarks in the world. I feel extremely blessed and look forward to another year of capturing more images.

Click on each image to read the original blog post but I’ll try to add some additional light on these images now that I’ve sat on them for a while. In no particular order except chronological, here are my favorite images of 2018.

fog, tidal basin, winter, weather, umbrella, stranger, candid, washington dc, national mall, moody, cherry blossom trees, trunk, photowalk,

This day was definietly a highlight of the winter season. I remember we had some crazy foggy mornings but on this particular day, the fog happened in the middle of the day. Oh yea, it was raining too. Luckily, it was on a Sunday and I didn’t have much else going on. So what better way than to walk around the National Mall than with my friend, Birch. I still love how everything lines up in this image, even the little reflection you see in the puddle behind the lady is so interesting to see.

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Every year during this time of the year, I like to go back through my images that I’ve captured and pull them together for a ‘best of’ post. I capture so many images in a year that it can be a little difficult to narrow them down so I like to divide it them into two days, one for travel and one for just Washington DC images.

This image did not make the cut but it reminds me of one of the more memorable trips of the year. My trip to Aruba with all my girlfriends. It was so much fun to have that girl time and to spend a long weekend at the beach. I stayed in a room with my friend, Sue. It was perfect because we both just naturally wake up early and she is very patient with me when I want to stop a million times on the way to breakfast just to take pictures. She’s patient because she’s probably taking a million pictures too. LOL.

This image was taken on our last day. Sue and our friend, Neena woke up in the morning to get breakfast and do some last minute souvenir shopping for our loved ones back home. Andrew’s always the easiest person to shop for because he doesn’t necessarily want any of the touristy stuff you can get. I usually just go to a local grocery store or convenience store and buy a whole bunch of different snacks and treats that we don’t have back home but look interesting to try. We have a good time trying them together. So while I was waiting for Sue and Neena to shop, I saw this rooster just walking around. I loved the colors behind him so I took a quick shot before he ran away.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/500th sec and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.